A new report commissioned by the Prime Minister has suggested that it should be made easier for employers to fire unproductive or lazy workers — and replace them with hard workers who are keen to get ahead, including graduates desperate for work.

British workers should be banned from claiming unfair dismissal so that firms and public sector bodies can find more capable replacements, the report says. Under current regulations, unproductive workers are allowed to “coast along” and employers are left fearful of expanding because new staff may prove “unknown quantities” who are impossible to sack.

A final draft of the Beecroft report, dated Oct 12 2011, says the first major issue for British enterprise is “the terrible impact of the current unfair dismissal rules on the efficiency and hence competitiveness of our businesses, and on the effectiveness and cost of our public services.”

Workers’ unions have reacted with alarm to the idea of allowing employers to fire unproductive workers without giving a reason. The expressed concern that older workers could be targeted — and that employers could fire workers simply because they don’t like them.

But supporters of the plan say giving bosses greater freedom to get rid of unproductive workers could be good news for those who are keen to work — including job-hunting graduates.

*Should those with jobs have to work harder to keep them?
Should bosses have the right to fire staff who are slacking off — freeing up space and money for young graduates desperate for work? Or would the new legislation give employers too much power? Would this new legislation boost the economy — or just increase the number of unemployed?

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